The Cake and Bake Show London Earls Court September 23, 2012

Well I ummed and arred about whether to get my ticket to this show.  I wasn't sure what to expect other than a crowd and I have such a hard time dealing with crowds I couldn't make up my mind.  Truthfully I left it so long that they had actually sold out the whole weekend and I thought I had missed out.  I regretted instantly not having bought my ticket.  Then as luck would have it they managed to extend capacity for Sunday's show and offered tickets to their Cake & Bake Club memebers.  Yayyyy!  I snatched mine up right away.  Yes the lure of all things Cake is stronger than my crowd phobia, LOL.

My plan was to get there first thing when they opened Sunday Morning in order to beat the crowd and get in as much as possible early on.  I was a bit worried when I approached Earls Court and they ushered us into a very long que under the building.  But it was not as bad as it first seemed.  The crowd quickly dispursed as we went into the show and it was very easy to walk around and browse and get right up to the stands.

The first stand that caught my eye was Dinky Doodle  where Dawn Butler was demonstrating her fabulous Dinky Doodle Airbrush.  I'm a big fan of Dawn's work and Facebook Page and I've had my eye on that Airbrush for a while now.  I got the chance to try out the airbrush at her stand and absolutely loved it.  But sadly its £120 I simply don't have at the moment.  I will do a special feature on the blog if I ever manage to get one, fingers crossed.

Moving on, I did a quick sweep of the stands while the crowds where still at bay.  To be honest the Cake & Bake show was very similar to Cake International, but on a smaller scale.  They had everything a Cake Decorating enthusiast could need all under one roof.  I was impressed with the demonstrations and the range of goods on offer.  I know some people who paid for classes where not overly happy with the open plan classrooms.  Essentially if you prebooked for a class online you where booking your seat in that class, however the classes where all open plan and people who hadn't paid simply stood behind the paying attendees to watch the demonstrations.  I'm on the fence with this one as I can see from the shows stand point you where paying to guarantee your spot and you had a seat but I can see how it would be annoying to have paid and have someone standing beside you who didn't watching the same demonstration.  The show should probably have made the fact that it was open clearer to everyone.

There where certainly plenty of free for all visitors demonstrations around the show and enough to keep anyone entertained for the day.  Just a thought though, if you are planning to spend a day at the next show you might think about bringing a packed lunch as the ques for the food where appauling.  My lunch ended up being a Cookie Dough Cupcake from Crumbs and Doilies and I didn't even attempt to get a drink there.

 Eric Lanlard at the Baking Mad booth offering Cake Decorating Classes.  

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry on the Cake Kitchen
This area also featured demonstrations from Mich Turner, Eric Lanlard, Edd Kimber and Juliet Sear throughout the day

Squires Kitchen offering demonstations for Royal Icing Inscriptions, Modelling a Footballer, Piping for Cupcake, Starting a Cake Business from Home, Sugar Modeling Cats and Dogs, Royal Icing Flowers and Perfect Pearl Macaroons.

The one thing I felt was missing where the Competition exhibits.  They did the Edible Beach Competition.  It was nice to see everyones interpretations but with everyone working to the same theme I personally missed the variety that you find at Cake International.  There where some amazing entries though.  Here are a few of the favorites that caught my eye.

The Professional Category Winner

 The Junior Category Winner

The Non-Professional Category Winner.  How clever was her take on the theme?  I loved it!

This Brighton Pier cake was my personal overall favorite

I had a browse around Tracy Mann's stand and just loved this adorable creation she had on display. I guess I'll have to add a class with Tracy Mann to my wish list as well :)  

Sorry my view of Peggy's Parlour is not great.  But hopefully you can tell she had it set up just lovely and perfectly in the style of her London Parlour.  

A couple of lovely creations at the Squires Kitchen booth.

The Children's Baking Area

The Family Bake Off

A lovely little Party Display

Overall The Cake & Bake show was a nice day out, but if I had to choose between the 2 I would choose Cake International over Cake & Bake.  I hope you have enjoyed my take on the show. 

Eric Lanlard's Banana and Rum Pie

Ingredients (serves 8)
100g unsalted butter
200g digestive biscuits, crushed
3 bananas, sliced
150g Billington's Dark Muscovado Sugar
1tsp cinnamon, ground
1tsp nutmeg, grated
2 free range eggs
200ml coconut cream
3tbspn dark rum
350ml whipping cream
75g Billington's Golden Icing Sugar
2tsp Nielsen-Massy Vanilla Paste
40g Silver Spoon Create Dark Chocolate, grated

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the crushed digestive biscuits, stirring to coat evenly.  Press the mixture into a 23cm (9in) diameter shallow pie plate or dish, covering the sides, too.  Bake in a preheated oven, 180C (fan 160C) / 350F / gas mark 4, for 10 minutes.

2. Remove the dish from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 160C (fan 140C) / 325F/ gas mark 3.

3. Put the banana slices on a sheet of aluminium foil and toss them with the Mucovado sugar and spices, coating them all over.  Cover with another sheet of aluminium foil, place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, or until mushy.  Remove from the oven, but leave the oven turned on. 

4.  Put the eggs, coconut cream and rum into a bowl and beat well.  Stir in the cooked bananas.  Pour this mixture into the pie base and bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until wobbly.  Cool completely in the dish.

5. Whip the cream, golden icing sugar and vanilla to from nice soft peaks.  Pile high on top of the pie and sprinkle generously with the grated chocolate.

6. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

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